SWOV Catalogus


Interlocks for first offenders : effective ?
20200436 ST [electronic version only]
Roth, R. Voas, R. & Marques, P.
Traffic Injury Prevention, Vol. 8 (2007), No. 4 (December), p. 346-352, ref.

Samenvatting Vehicle interlocks have been shown to effectively reduce the recidivism of multiple driving-while-impaired (DWI) offenders; however, the evidence for their effectiveness with first offenders has been mixed. Two Canadian studies found that the installation of an interlock reduced first DWI recidivism, but U.S. studies in West Virginia and California failed to find a significant reduction in recidivism for first DWI offenders in interlock programs. The objective of this study was to determine the extent to which such devices were effective with first offenders in New Mexico. This study compared 1,461 first offenders, who installed interlocks in New Mexico between January 1, 2003, and December 1, 2005, with 17,562 first offenders convicted during the same period who did not install the units. Cox multivariate proportional hazards regression (CMVPHR) was used to compare recidivism rates during three periods: * while the interlock was on the vehicles of offenders who installed them; * after those offenders removed the units until the end of the study period (approximately 2 years); * for the combined period (both while the interlock was installed and after it was removed). Results showed that while the device was on the vehicles of the interlock group, their recidivism rate, 2.6% per year of exposure, was significantly less than the 7.1% per year rate of the comparison group (CMVPHR hazard ratio = 0.39, p < 0.0001). After the device was removed, the annualized recidivism rate of the interlock group increased to 4.9% per year of exposure, which was less than the 6.7% rate of the comparison group, but the hazard ratio was not statistically significant (CMVPHR hazard ratio = 0.82, p = 0.16). When the combined periods (interlock on and off) were considered, the interlock group had a recidivism rate of 3.9% per year, which again was significantly lower than the 6.8% rate for the comparison group (CMVPHR hazard ratio = 0.61, p < 0.0001). The study provides evidence that interlocks are as effective with first offenders (approximately 60% reduction in recidivism when on the vehicle) as they are for multiple offenders. In addition, the benefits of requiring an interlock for first offenders exceed the costs by a factor of three. (Author/publisher)
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